This book connects the work of eight radical political theorists to eight world-renowned films and shows how the political impact of film on the aesthetic self can lead to the possibility of political resistance. Each chapter considers the work of a core thinker on film, shows its relevance in terms of a specific case study film, then highlights how these films probe political issues in a way that invites viewers to think critically about them, both within the internal logic of the film and in how that might impact externally on the way they live their lives. Examining this dialogue enables Ian Fraser to demonstrate the possibility of a political impact of films on our own consciousness and identity, and that of others.
In eight stand-alone chapters, Fraser (Loughborough, UK) summarizes the political, social, economic, and moral-psychological positions of eight Continental philosophers, pairing each with a film that best exemplifies his or her theories. All are staunch opponents of neoliberal capitalism, seeking in film a means of transforming mass consciousness as a precondition for emancipatory resistance and revolution. Though some theorists conscript philosophers from the Western canon (Kant, Hume), most anchor their primary mode of analysis in poststructuralist or neo-Marxist psychoanalytic theory (e.g., Theodor Adorno, Ernst Bloch, Alain Badiou, Jacques Rancière, Slavoj Žižek).... Properly instructed to see and feel what these political theorists see and feel, the art of cinema can transform an agency of mass consumption and escapist fantasy into personal and then revolutionary political emancipation. Culture underwrites politics; like poets before them, filmmakers can become the legislators for a just society. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.